Our Klamath Basin
Upholding rural Americans' rights to grow food,
own property, and caretake our wildlife and natural resources.
Letters to the editor
Regarding "Klamath farmers, fish at crossroads,"
Feb. 27: For Crossroads, go
by William D. Kennedy, Klamath
Published 2:15 am PST Thursday, March 10,
Most irrigation developments are associated with
the electricity they produce. What is unique about
the Klamath project is that a private business,
Scottish Power, has a conditional permit to
harness the hydro potential from the project.
The irrigation community paid for the project
construction cost. We continue to pay for operation
and maintenance of the project. We continue to
provide flows down the Klamath River. The storage
and infrastructure of the Klamath project supplement
the historically low river flow during the summer.
Scottish Power generates hydroelectricity when
the demand and price are very high. While the
irrigation community purchases about 15 percent of
this hydroelectric generation, 85 percent is sold at
a huge profit to others. Who is subsidizing whom?
An extreme power rate increase would be
devastating. The best farms would struggle to
produce. Wildlife habitat would dry up. Irrigated
pasture would turn to dust. River flows for
hydroelectric production would not exist.
Power fee for water service
by Stephen M. Plass, Tulelake
The March 1 editorial "Power at 1917 prices" is
critical of the electrical power rate contract for
irrigation pumping in the Klamath Basin. If the
reclamation project had not been developed, the
vast majority of the water that did not evaporate
in wetlands would go down the river from November
to June.The power generation facilities were not
built until after the reclamation project was
established and the upper basin water was
manageable. To build generation facilities on the
river with no upstream management would not supply
reliable summer electricity.
The generation facilities receive a tremendous
benefit from having the water resource managed
upstream. Compensation for this benefit could be
accomplished in any of several methods of payment.
The farmers of the project pay for the project,
which pays for the management of the water.
Rather than pay a percentage of revenue or some
other franchise fee, the agreement was for a lower
electricity rate when used for agricultural
irrigation pumping. In turn, the project would
supply guaranteed flows down the river. Each helps
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Thursday May 07, 2009 09:14 AM Pacific
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